Come join us at our annual conference and experience it for yourself!


PRE-CONFERENCE WORKSHOP                             
for AT Teachers and Trainees            

Best Practices for Staging Theatrical Intimacy                                      
with Chelsea Pace & Laura Rikard       


Chelsea Pace is an intimacy choreographer, Assistant Professor at the University of Maryland Baltimore County, President of the Association of Theatre Movement Educators, and a founder of Theatrical Intimacy Education. While pursuing her MFA at Arizona State University, she focused her research on staging intimacy, nudity and sexual violence. She has developed a comprehensive approach for actors, directors, and choreographers to efficiently, effectively, and ethically stage theatrical intimacy and has a book forthcoming on the progression. Chelsea has been invited to choreograph, teach, present, and consult on this work for professional theatres and many universities, including Arizona State University, The University of Vermont, Salisbury Universe Wabash College, North Dakota State University. She has also presented on this work with The American Society of Theatre Research, The Association for Theatre in Higher Education, and The Association for Theatre Movement Educators. Chelsea has an upcoming book, Staging Sex: A handbook for rehearsing and directing intimacy on stage and screen, expected in 2019 from Routledge Publishing.


Laura Rikard (SAG-AFTRA/AEA) is a director, actor, stage movement specialist, intimacy choreographer, Assistant Professor of Acting, Directing and Movement at the University of Miami and a founding member of Theatre Intimacy Education.   Directing credits include: The Seagull, Dead Man’s Cellphone, Spring Awakening, 13, the Musical, Romeo and Juliet, and others.  Acting Credits include: A Streetcar Named Desire, By the Bog of Cats, Two Gentlemen of Verona, Macbeth, The Last Night of Ballyhoo, Rhinoceros, and others. Stage Intimacy Choreography includes: Butterfly Kiss, Spring Awakening, Memory of Water, Refuge, Tall Grass Gothic, Lady Aoi, Agatha Christie’s The Patient, and The Red Paint.   She has worked in film and television, NYC, regionally, on national tours, internationally and devised solo performance productions.  She has been coaching and teaching for 18 years. Former students have won the National Shakespeare Competition at the Lincoln Center, been accepted to top training programs and are currently working on and off Broadway, in professional theatres in Chicago, Los Angeles, London, at top regional theatres and her students can also been seen in numerous films and television series. She has taught workshops and presented on Staging Intimacy at the ATHE Conference, the ATHE Directing Pre-Conference, Rose Bruford Conservatory, Brown University, and Bucknell University.  She is a member of the SAFD, ATME, ATHE, VASTA and recently named by Academic Keys as a "Who's Who in Fine Arts Education." Learn more about Laura at  


Beyond Jitters: Managing Stage Fright through your Autonomic Nervous System
with Jennifer Frank Tantia

Our bodies are the place from which we live, breathe and respond to our world and our embodied experience is what informs our emotional awareness. When states of anxiety arise, as in the experience of performance anxiety, we feel helpless, agitated, fearful, or embarrassed. From an evolutionary perspective anxiety comes from a healthy kind of fear, passed down from our ancestors, and gives us the ability to fight, flee, freeze, or even faint in the face of danger. However, over millions of years, the development of our consciousness and sophistication of our memory system has morphed part of our healthy fear into a self-made worry that affects our ability to think clearly, move smoothly and speak in a confident way. Performance anxiety- the phenomenon that arrests even the most sophisticated and talented performer, is a body/mind split that is constructed in the mind but felt through the body.  

The autonomic nervous system (ANS) is the place in the body where emotions are felt. “Stress,” in the sense of an undesirable state is defined by Levine as the inability of the complex dynamical system of the ANS to recover to normal functionality (Levine,1977,1986). Thisworkshop will focus on how emotions are felt through the body’s nervous system and how those embodied emotions can be self-regulated during times of stress. Participants will explore how the interpretation of fear during performance anxiety is based in personal history, and learn about the “window of tolerance” in the ANS and how to use embodied awareness to regulate one’s embodied state for optimal functioning in any situation. 

Jennifer Frank Tantia, PhD, MS, BC-DMT, LCAT is a somatic psychologist and dance/movement therapist specializing in anxiety disorders and medically unexplained symptoms. Dr. Tantia currently serves on the board of the American Dance Therapy Association as chair of Research and Practice, and is an associate editor of the international journal, Body, Movement and Dance in Psychotherapy. Dr. Tantia presents her work internationally and has authored several publications in both somatic psychology and dance/movement therapy. She has recently co-edited an international handbook with Routledge Publishers entitled, “Embodied Perspectives in Psychotherapy,” scheduled for publication in January 2019. She has a full-time private psychotherapy practice in Manhattan.

Hear Jennifer speak:


Feet First - Finding the Floor
with Harry Hobbs & Jessica Webb

Being in your lower body in an audition situation can be challenging. When activation enters the room, our sense of relationship becomes disproportionate: we lose awareness of our feet and everything goes straight to our head — literally. Our feet are our foundation, and without them, we try to stabilize through our head/neck/shoulders while simultaneously trying to sing, speak, or simply breathe! If we can find a way to redistribute our awareness back down through our feet, we can create the support that will allow for the freedom of expression we need to be our best artistic self in the audition — and beyond.

In this workshop we will look at two processes: the moments leading up to an audition and the audition itself. Attendees will gain tools that will help them find and use the floor both in advance of the audition, as well as practical real-time exercises to use during the audition.

This workshop is intended for all actors, regardless of AT experience, and AT teachers or trainees looking for more tools to enhance their arsenal. Exercises will include floor work (active rest) modified as a way to incorporate character, practices in remaining grounded as you arrive to the audition, and reframing the audition process itself in a non-reactive way, to allow for a more artistically reaffirming and productive experience.

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Participants are asked to bring a monologue or audition piece. Time will be allotted at the end of this session for individuals to further put these skills to immediate practice in a performance setting. Due to limited time, we will share as many pieces as time allows; individual participation in this portion is not required.


Jessica Webb is an AEA/SAG-AFTRA actor and Alexander Technique Teacher, currently on faculty with Boston Conservatory @ Berklee, teaching the Meisner Technique in the BFA and Song and Score in the MFA Musical Theatre programs. Jessica graduated from Boston Conservatory’s Alexander Training program, spent 2 years assisting Tommy Thompson at A.R.T., and completed The Actors Secret Training with Betsy Polatin. Jessica has worked/taught internationally for 20 years.

Harry Hobbs is an Alexander Technique teacher in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He received his BFA in Acting from Boston University. It was there where he was first exposed to the Alexander Technique under Betsy Polatin. He has taught the Alexander Technique at BU’s School of Theatre and has completed The Actor’s Secret Training with Betsy Polatin. Harry graduated from the Alexander Technique Center at Cambridge under Tommy Thompson.

The Art of the Slate
with Jennifer Schulz

Manifested in our movement through space is the unconscious story we tell the world about who we are. Often, we actors are entirely unaware of the subtle habitual patterns that interfere with our ability to communicate our most authentic, honest, vibrant, and present selves in the initial moments of the audition process. Before we have said our first line of dialogue, an impression of who we are and whether or not a director would enjoy working with us has been set.

This two-hour workshop is an exploration of how we begin. Through observing how workshop participants walk in and introduce themselves, we will investigate how awareness, inhibition, and direction, as well as Frank Pierce Jones’ Unified Field of Attention can have a profound effect on the introductory portion of the audition. We’ll discuss the difference between relaxed and released, what mirror neurons have to do with how we are perceived, and why saying our own name can be a loaded activity. We’ll explore ways in which we as actors can more effectively navigate the “moment before” stepping into the room and the role, and gather new information about “the story we tell the world”.

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The actor who can walk into the space in a present, expansive, alert, yet easy and authentic manner is the actor most directors prefer to work with. And beyond that first impression, the actor that is present, expansive, and alert is going to do his or her best work every time.

Jennifer Schulz is an adjunct faculty member in the Department of Theatre at Cal State University, San Bernardino where she teaches all levels of Acting, Advanced Voice & Movement, and Oral Interpretation of Literature. She also runs a seven-week Alexander course for professional actors in Los Angeles, regularly works with actors at Lesly Kahn & Co., and coteaches an on-going advanced Voice/Speech/Movement class with voice teacher Richard Gilbert Hill. Jennifer is a graduate of the Alexander Technique Training Institute of Los Angeles and holds her MFA in Acting from the University of South Carolina.

Warming Up: Actor's Floor Barre
with Belinda Mello


Using Alexander Technique as the basis, you will be lead through a progressive series of exercises to expand your emotional and kinesthetic expression, discern the various resistances and tendencies you work with, let go of stressful patterns, and ultimately leave with a fresher sense of yourself. The class work is like a barre for actors, and intended to encourage regular practice of skills as well as deeper connection to self. The format is informed by many movement and acting training techniques through an AT lens — notably, Margolis Method.

Belinda Mello (Freedom to ACT conference co-designer), MFA (directing), ATI, ATME, teaches Alexander Technique to actors through her program of private lessons, weekly classes and intensive workshops at her studio, AT Motion. Belinda offers classes at The Barrow Group, the SITI Conservatory and is a guest teacher in Toronto, ON. She is a contributing BackStage Expert and has published in Theatre, Dance and Performance Training Journal. As an actor and a director she has performed internationally and was part of and Obie-winning production. Drawing on her experience with movement, mask and Margolis Method, she provides coaching for productions and auditions. She also offers classes for AT teachers on group teaching and has written class protocols for the Poise Project. Belinda is a member of the AT Diversity Coalition.

Radiant Auditioning: Poised for a Great Beginning (Small Group Workshop*)
with Eleanor Taylor

It is common to feel rushed during an audition, and find that it is over before you are ready to begin. Learn how make the most of your pre-audition minutes so you are poised and ready to go the moment you arrive in front of the audition panel. In this experiential small group workshop, set the stage for balanced ease in your body and breath, and explore a step-by-step process using the Alexander Technique to calm nerves, focus energy, and begin auditions with presence and vibrancy. Performers may bring a brief memorized audition piece if they’d like to volunteer to work in front of the group, and all participants will have the opportunity to practice the tools in the Group.

Open to actors at any point in their training or career, and AT practitioners or other teachers interested in exploring ways to apply AT tools to the actor’s pre-audition process.

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Eleanor Taylor, m.AmSAT, is on the Musical Theatre faculty of the Manhattan School of Music, and teaches privately at Union Square, Manhattan, where she works with actors and singers to improve performance, prevent injury and reduce anxiety using the Alexander Technique. She has taught at Respiro Opera and the American Academy of Dramatic Arts,and holds B.M./M.M. degrees in vocal performance from New England Conservatory and the University of Minnesota.


The Flow of Voice, Breath and Body
with Jean McClelland

Keeping open, free, and breathing in audition and performance


Our ability to keep internally alive and fluid while performing is the difference between a stilted and dry performance and one that is emotionally moving and imaginative. To perform freely we must be able to develop the skills to enter into a state of being that is open and sensitive to creative impulses as they arise. In our workshop, we will explore ways to stimulate an open and imaginal state of mind and to work with breath to support vocal sound so that our minds are present, our bodies unfixed and fluid, and our voices filled with nuance and expression.

Jean McClelland, BA, Vassar College; Graduate studies in Voice and Performance, Boston University; Certified, AmSAT, ACAT, 1991. Jean performed in the Broadway production of Camelot with Richard Harris and has played leading roles in numerous musicals and operas and currently performs in concert. She has been on the faculty of the New York Open Center since 1986 and a visiting guest artist at William Paterson University since 1992.

with Cathy Madden

A singer told me she was terrified, confronting me anew with the insistent association of art and fear, equating what you love to do in the same category as being chased by wild animals. The necessary physiological excitation accompanying performance needs a new moniker!

Researching the derivation of desire, the keystone of chosen experiences, revealed sidere “from the stars.” The poetry of this derivation matches my belief that this artistic state of conscious engagement with the unknown for learning, creativity, exploration, and experimentation is magic, perhaps “from the stars.”  Everyone will have the opportunity in the workshop to learn a short sidere-driven piece.


Cathy Madden is Principal Lecturer for the University of Washington’s Professional Actor Training Program, and Director of the Integrative Alexander Technique Studio of Seattle. Her publications include Teaching the Alexander Technique: Active Pathways to Integrative Practice (Jessica Kingsley Publishers 2018) and Integrative Alexander Technique Practices for Performing Artist : Onstage Synergy (Intellect Ltd. 2014) and she co-edited Galvanizing Performances (Jessica Kingsley 2017). She was a founding member of and is a former Chair of Alexander Technique International. In addition to teaching at training schools around the world, she has been a featured presenter/keynote speaker at International Congresses of the Alexander Technique, ATI Annual Meetings and has been part of f the Freedom to Act Conference since its inception.

Audition Resilience: Your Nervous System as Supportive Scene Partner
with Tory Matsos

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This participatory session will offer mindful, playful strategies for understanding and regulating the autonomic nervous system during the audition experience. Participants will explore ways in which to ground themselves, engage their intuition, and experience a deeper sense of safety and ease when auditioning. Explorations will engage Alexander Technique principles along with embodied movement practices often employed for the healing of trauma and chronic stress. All levels of experience welcome.

Tory Matsos is a freelance theatre artist and movement educator. She is certified to teach Alexander Technique, Michael Chekhov Technique, and Nutritious Movement-Restorative Exercise. She holds an MFA in Acting and New Works Creation from The Ohio State University. She has served as Alexander Technique teacher in the BFA and MFA actor training programs at the University of Florida, and she currently teaches Alexander Technique for actors, dancers, and musicians at Hillsdale College. She offers actor coaching online at

Acting in 4D : Owning Time and Space in Your Audition (Small Group Workshop*)
with Holly Cinnamon

Does your awareness ever narrow when you walk into the audition room? Do you ever feel rushed? Are you aware of a power dynamic between you and the people behind the camera/table? Do you get in your head or forget what happened?

This workshop will offer you specific tools and simple exercises to help you orient in the room, both before and during your audition, and find resources in space that allow you to own the space. This way, resources in the room can be your allies and your scene partners.  We will also explore the use of time, applying the AT tool of inhibition, so that you can own every moment of your audition and have the casting director hanging off your every word.

We all know that “being present” is crucial to our work. But how do you achieve presence consistently? This workshop will offer methods to discover concrete tools specific to you that encourage and support your presence, so you can own yourself and your work in the room from start to finish every time. This workshop is open to all. You may bring in an audition piece you would like to explore. I will also have text available.

Holly Cinnamon is a New York based professional actor, writer and teacher. She is a recurring guest in Netflix/Marvel’s Daredevil and made her Off-Broadway debut in Dear Jane. Holly certified in AT and completed her MFA at the Boston Conservatory. She has trained with Tommy Thompson, Betsy Polatin, Belinda Mello and Debi Adams. Holly taught Alexander Technique for Opera Nuova, assistant taught with Belinda Mello at the Barrow Group and offers private lessons and group AT classes for actors at BAC, fusing her knowledge of AT with her experience as a working actor. /


Preparing for an Audition: Creating a Powerful Performance Presence
with Meade Andrews

What is presence? What does it mean to be fully alert, present, and alive on stage? What are the qualities of the actor who commands our attention? How do we recognize an actor who is truly "living in the moment"?

In this session, we will focus on selected aspects of the Alexander Technique, and their powerful effect on performance presence.  Via movement explorations, we will address several themes concerned with developing and sustaining liveliness and poise on stage: "Ready for anything and prepared for nothing" (Marie-Francoise LaFolle, Alexander Technique Teacher).

  • We are Designed for Movement: Developing a warm-up that is consistent with the truth of your anatomical design.

  • What You Think is What You Get:  Exploring the difference between "standing up straight" and Alexander's dynamic series of directional thoughts.

  • The Five Cues and the Roll Down: Learning a sequence that will assist you when you have a short amount of time before the moment of your audition.

  • Entering, Pausing and Exiting: Using Alexander's process as a foundational support for 3 powerful actions on stage.


Meade Andrews is a senior teacher of the Alexander Technique. Her first lesson was in 1974, with Rachel Zahn. She has also studied with Marjorie Barstow, Martha Fertman, Jessica Wolf, and John Nicholls. She currently teaches Movement for Actors, and the Alexander Technique, in the theatre program at Rider University in New Jersey.

Stand Your Ground and Sing Your Story
with Kathryn Armour

The transition from studio voice preparation to an audition is a challenge.  In this workshop, we will rehearse using the Alexander Technique to activate inherent structural support for good breathing and vibrant singing. Then we will learn how to improve our listening in order to integrate singing by ear and telling our story. This will be a group singing lesson.


Kathryn Armour was certified as an Alexander Technique teacher in 2003, and is a member of ATI.   She has presented Voice and AT workshops at the last 2 international Alexander Congresses.  Kathryn has given Masterclasses in Voice and AT for Boston Conservatory, Hollins University, Wheaton College, for several ATI conventions and for the University of Wisconsin Medical School Voice Clinic.  For several years she has been guest faculty at General Episcopal Seminary in Chelsea, NYC.  In 2018 she was invited by the Theatre Communications Group (TCG) to present a Voice and Alexander Technique intensive training workshop in St. Louis, MO for the national winners of the eminent Fox Fellowships.


Acting for Virtual Environments: The Inner and Outer Landscape of the Character In Cinematic Space
with Jean-Louis Rodrigue

Physical space gets dramatically activated and takes on scale and dimension by the movement of actors' bodies within it.  Sandra Bullock’s graceful floating through space in Alfonso Cuarón’s GRAVITY and Suraj Sharma’s interacting with the storm in Ang Lee’s LIFE OF PI remain two of the most memorable images in recent film history. 

This presentation will feature live demonstrations as well as film clips to illustrate how actors and directors use physicality and space to tell their story. Acting coach and movement director Jean-Louis Rodrigue will share his knowledge on body movement in cinematic space. 

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Jean-Louis Rodrigue
Movement Director, UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television Having collaborated with Ang Lee and his screenwriter David Magee on the development of the movement of Pi and the tiger Richard Parker, Rodrigue has distinguished himself over the years with working with today’s leading actors in discovering their character’s physicality such as Leonardo DiCaprio in J.EDGAR, Paul Dano in OKJA, Rachel McAdams in DISOBEDIENCE, and Margot Robbie in I. TONYA, MARY, QUEEN OF SCOTS, ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD to name a few.  He also has worked with Chris Pine in THE LIEUTENANT OF INISHMORE at the Mark Taper Forum, Juliette Binoche in IN-I at the Royal National Theatre, and with Pamela Gien in her award-winning THE SYRINGA TREE Off- Broadway and at the Royal National Theatre.

The Life Force : Taking Principles Into Shakespeare
with Janet Madelle Feindel

This workshop will explore how Alexander Technique (AT) principles can be integrated into the acting of Shakespeare text, particularly related to auditioning with Shakespeare monologues. How do we combine the principles of AT to enhance vital, expressive acting, particularly in the challenging situation of auditions?

Often times, Alexander Technique is approached as a set of “incorrect or correct postures” which causes self-consciousness, which is the death of exciting acting. This workshop will examine instead how to use the principles of the technique, such as directing, inhibition and body mapping as a means-whereby we can increase expressiveness, confidence, vitality and flexibility as an actor.   Feindel will utilize many of the approaches in her book The Thought Propels The Sound, Plural Publishing and methods she has developed since. This workshop is open to all.


Janet Madelle Feindel, AmSAT, ATI, Designated Linklater Voice; Certified Fitzmaurice Voice, Certified Yoga Alliance Teacher.  Credits include: Theatre for A New Audience/Royal Shakespeare Company (UK); Stratford Festival, Canada, (including Voice & the Alexander Technique at the Birmingham Conservatory); international conferences including: Choice for Voice (British Voice Association); ATI & International Alexander Technique Congresses & the Care of the Professional Voice Symposium. Publications: The Thought Propels the Sound and Chapter on Alexander and Voice is included in Performer’s Voice (both Plural Publishing); articles with the Congress Papers (STAT); A Particular Class of Women, Canada Playwrights Press. Professor Emerita, Voice/Alexander & Dialect Coach, School of Drama, Carnegie Mellon University, where she initiated Linklater Voice & the Alexander Technique into the curriculum.

AT Art Share Gathering
with Jean E Taylor

Jean E Taylor will be our emcee for an Art Share gathering for the whole Freedom to ACT Conference.
Share your artistry informed by your AT practice. More information about how to apply will follow soon.


Dynamic Transitions for Monologues
with Sarah Barker

An effective audition allows auditors to see your imagination working through your body.  They must see you transforming from self to imagined circumstances and imaginary inner life. This all happens in the transitions from moment to moment.

Using Alexander Technique you can focus on easy, playful expansion of awareness of your self, how the character lives in your body and how that new self responds to the environment and others.  

Sarah will coach you with AT to choose where to put your attention, whether it is on the moments of charming your auditors or pursuing your character’s needs and goals.  Using AT in the transitions gives you freedom to choose your experience. Everyone is invited as we’ll be moving and exploring before those who have monologues get specific coaching.


Sarah Barker is a nationally recognized theatre movement and actor trainer. Sarah teaches intensive workshops and coaches privately. She is a University of South Carolina professor. You can read about her work in newly published chapters in Galvanizing Performances and in Physical Dramaturgy: Perspectives from the Field. She is often a guest teacher for schools for Alexander Technique teachers around the world.  Sarah’s book, The Alexander Technique, and her DVD, Moving with Ease are used in many theatre-training programs throughout the US.  See her website at

No Pushy, No Pulley:  An Unexpected Road into Creative Monologue Work
with Dana Calvey

Monologues can be tricky—they challenge the actor’s ability to stay imaginative without a partner.  Actors often push into the emotion of the monologue or have so many emotions and sensations coursing through themselves (overwhelming joy, nerves, insecurity, shaking body parts, awkwardness, etc.) that they push it all away.  It can be challenging to integrate those feelings into the dramatic moment. By consciously addressing your whole self first, this session will teach you a clear psycho-physical process to letting any piece rip open! Please bring a thoroughly memorized one-minute monologue to work with.

This presentation is designed for beginning and intermediate actors or Alexander Technique students.  Purely Alexander Technique students will also have an opportunity to "perform" without a monologue.


Dana Calvey specializes in teaching groups of performers. She has taught dozens of master classes to musicians and actors, including Yale University (Sacred Music), NJ Shakespeare, NJ Music Educators, and Stoneybrook Pre-College.  She is Associate Faculty at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts and teaches at Interlochen Arts Academy summer program. She is the founder of Activate Poise, Inc., which is dedicated to clearing roads in the Alexander Technique profession - now and for generations to come.

Controlling Your Voice and Nerves Simultaneously
with Ann Rodiger


Ann Rodiger (conference co-designer) is Founder and Director of the Balance Arts Center and Balance Arts Center Alexander Technique Teacher Training Course. She has private Alexander Technique practices in NYC, Berlin, Germany and Antwerp, Belgium. She is also skilled in Labanotation, Laban Movement Analysis, Bartenieff Fundamentals, yoga, meditation, and various dance techniques. She produces and co-produces conferences and workshops for the Alexander Technique as it relates to Dance, Music, Voice, Acting, and Writing.

Ready, Unset, Go! (Small Group Workshop*)
with Erin O'Leary

Staying ‘in the moment’ by transitioning between the moments


For many actors, the most challenging, exhilarating, and terrifying time at any audition is from when you’re ‘up next’ to when you begin. Time can be unpredictable, thoughts can go wild, and anticipation can be overwhelming.  Erin has watched hundreds of auditions in recent years and now teaches actors the Alexander Technique to find presence and balance through the variety of moments between.

In this workshop (part experiential, part demonstration), Erin will work with the whole group on how to handle the wait, how to bring your whole-self to the slate, and how to transition into imagined circumstances. Actors with prepared monologues will be encouraged to work individually, demonstrating for the group how to move forward through each new moment with heightened awareness and deeper intention.

Erin O’Leary discovered the benefits of the Alexander Technique as an MFA actor at the University of Tennessee; all aspects of performance improved and simultaneously years of chronic back pain subsided.  She studied with Jed Diamond at UT, trained with John Nicholls & Nanette Walsh at ATNYC. She teaches privately in NYC and has taught actors at UT, The Juilliard School and The American Academy of Dramatic Arts.  AmSAT member.


Using the Juice: Putting Audition Adrenaline to Work for You
with Sandra Bain Cushman


This workshop will simplify AT principles for actors of all experience levels. We will build our understanding of inhibiting and directing on the fly as we perform fun (and confounding) rhythm tasks and verbal and singing games. In two hours time, we will explore relationships—physical, emotional and mental—that transform adrenaline and tension into “such stuff as dreams are made on.”

And—Why not?—The Juice Troupe will present a five-minute performance as the Completion to our workshop. This workshop will be participatory and group performance-oriented. It is intended for all experience levels.

Sandra Bain Cushman’s passion for unlocking creative potential began with her theater studies at Cornell University in 1977. She has been a certified teacher of the Alexander Technique since 1990. The demands of teaching countless large residential courses worldwide have given birth to Sandra’s unique system for teaching creative artists…while they play. Sandra is an Art of Breathing teacher, and author of Mind Body 40 Days. Sandra teaches for the Contemplative Sciences Center at the University of Virginia.

Breath - Integration - Clarity
with Margi Douglas and Elizabeth Castagna

What can an actor do to work with negative voices and impulses when they arise in the face of an audition? Join Alexander teachers Elizabeth Castagna and Margi Douglas for a workshop that meets those voices head on and allows students to transform them through breath, direction and clear thinking. The process of integration we will explore was developed by the late Master Alexander teacher, Chloe Wing, and has beautiful pearls of wisdom for actors and Alexander teachers working with actors. This work comes from what Chloe termed “Warrior Training” and represents 3 years of experiments with performers and Alexander teachers in a group lab setting. Come with a short audition monologue if you wish, or simply a desire to play and observe.

All are welcome. Great for performers who are new to Alexander or have been studying for several years; also great for teachers looking for new ways into coaching actors.


Margi Douglas is an MFA graduate of Columbia University’s Acting program, a Pilates instructor, and an ATI certified Alexander teacher through Chloe Wing. She is a founding member and Producing Director for Magis Theatre Company, where she teaches movement to professional actors and company members, and performs, produces and co-creates company productions. She teaches Alexander at the MFA program for actors at Columbia University, as well as the Tom Todoroff Studio in Manhattan, and has presented her Alexander and Pilates work at NYSTEA and the Voice Foundation. She teaches private and group classes in Alexander and Pilates at the Pilates Garage in Brooklyn.


Elizabeth Castagna is a visual artist and an ATI certified Alexander Technique teacher through master teacher Chloe Wing. Elizabeth was Chloe’s teaching assistant for 7 years and completed her 3 year Warrior Program. Elizabeth integrates Craniosacral Balancing, Expressive Arts and Somatic Experiencing into her sessions. She has taught group workshops for professional actors with Joan Rosenfels Studio. Elizabeth also teaches actors both privately and in group settings at The Balance Arts Center in Manhattan, as well as Beacon, NY.

AT Tools for Self-Taping: Your Attention Shapes Their Attention
with Belinda Mello

With only a few moments on camera to send in to a casting director, how do you make the most of your self-taped audition? Your attention, and how you focus it, will have a huge impact on what you can convey and on how compelling your few moments will be. Through the AT, actors learn how to create specific conditions within themselves for conveying emotion and action. With the guidance of AT, actors also learn to consciously play with shifting attention between the outer objective world and the internal, private space. In this workshop we will use some simple, useable formats for honing in on specific choices, bringing more life to your auditions and other acting opportunities.

Time will be set aside to practice these AT based tools on camera, as you might at home. You may bring sides or a monologue to work with, or choose to observe.

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Belinda Mello (Freedom to ACT conference co-designer), MFA (directing), ATI, ATME, teaches Alexander Technique to actors through her program of private lessons, weekly classes and intensive workshops at her studio, AT Motion. Belinda offers classes at The Barrow Group, the SITI Conservatory and is a guest teacher in Toronto, ON. She is a contributing BackStage Expert and has published in Theatre, Dance and Performance Training Journal. As an actor and a director she has performed internationally and was part of and Obie-winning production. Drawing on her experience with movement, mask and Margolis Method, she provides coaching for productions and auditions. She also offers classes for AT teachers on group teaching and has written class protocols for the Poise Project. Belinda is a member of the AT Diversity Coalition.

*This year, we will be offering a few small group classes to provide actors with more focused learning environment and individual attention.